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National Savings and Investments are rather too lethargic

National Savings & Investments :

Once you've bought your Premium Bonds online then you are ’obliged’ to register with NS&I’s "Online and Phone Service", ostensibly for your “Security and Convenience”.

Until they’ve processed your registration (which has to be done on paper), you can’t access your Account on-line. If you try you get an (un)meaningful error message “ZNA60002 we’re sorry an error has occurred please call us or try again later”.

If you follow the alternative instructions, you can call them intending to purchase over the phone, but in practice you can’t, because even their own staff get the same error message, and don’t know what it means.

I finally discovered that it means your Registration is in progress; until it is complete, you can’t access your Account, or make new Purchases, and their staff can’t access your Account, or make new Purchases for you over the telephone.

After weeks of waiting, I asked when my Account would be accessible.

The response was :

“We can confirm that online & phone registration requests are currently taking approximately 5-6 weeks to complete due to the current high demand for this service.”
“Due to the changes introduced for the security of our holders investments and personal data I can confirm that no access is available to your accounts by our customer service team unless the customer can be successfully authenticated.”
“However, I can confirm that while we are processing your request you are still able to purchase Premium Bonds by sending a cheque and completing a postal application form or by purchasing at the Post Office by cheque or debit card by completing an application form stocked by the Post Office.”

Well the ‘current high demand’ is of their own making, but to take 5-6 weeks to simply set up a pre-existing Customer with a new UserId and temporary Password (their identity already having previously verified by National Insurance Number) seems rather inefficient?

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Keith Appleyard

Keith Appleyard

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